Since childhood, I’ve suffered from severe eczema. Winter is always particularly brutal for me — the dryness combined with freezing temperatures guarantees my body will frequently be covered in inflamed, stinging patches. I get it the worst on my legs, which can make something as simple as putting on pants a painful experience.
If an outbreak is particularly bad, I have a prescription steroidal ointment that works quickly and efficiently to reduce itchiness and discomfort. But that’s only for occasional use: topical steroids, according to my dermatologist, can weaken your skin if used too frequently. So I try to focus on prevention. Occasionally that means changing my diet (cutting out spicy foods and gluten has been said to help) but mostly I focus on moisturizing. Intensely. In the winter, this means that I make sure I’m in the habit of moisturizing my entire body with a thick lotion the second I step out of the shower.
For a long time, my go-to eczema lotion was Melaleuca’s Renew Intensive Skin Therapy Lotion, a product that my mom’s friend recommended to me a decade ago. This cream was the first product I ever found that kept my flare-ups at bay — and soothed them when they inevitably appeared. But there was a single, glaring problem with the stuff: It just was not thick enough. In order to stave off dryness, I had to reapply it every couple of hours. Which ultimately meant that during the winter I was going through two or three bottles a week. It was pricey, time-consuming, and all-around frustrating.
This all changed a few months ago, after a trip to C.O. Bigelow (a fancy West Village pharmacy). On a whim, I decided to ask woman behind the counter if they happened to have any particularly effective thick winter balms or lotions that helped soothe eczema flare-ups. As it turned out, she herself was a sufferer, and insisted I try a lotion from an Israeli brand called Lavido. It had changed her life, she said. I wasn’t convinced (I’m extremely skeptical when it comes to quick fixes for this particular issue) but my winter scalies were out in full force, so I decided to give it a try.
Reader: She was right. This lotion is life-changing. And if you suffer from mild, moderate, or, like me, severe eczema, it’s a must try. Lavido’s Intensive Body Cream is an ultrathick, seriously hydrating body cream that penetrates deep down into your skin to restore the skin’s natural moisture levels. Because of my condition I’ve learned to avoid any fragranced body lotions like the plague, but this product contains tea tree, lavender, and cold-press black cumin seed oils — all of which smell amazing, and help heal dry skin.
I now lather my body in a thick layer of this cream every morning, immediately after I get out of the shower, and have managed to get through the entire winter (so far) without a serious flare-up. I touch my legs up occasionally throughout the day with my (still-beloved) Melaleuca Renewal cream, and that’s it. Very best of all: I’ve had that initial bottle for three months now, and haven’t yet run out. My wallet’s happy, my legs are happier.
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